Former Ireland U19 player Brendan Lynch has been killed following a hit and run accident in Rome where he was living and playing with local team Unione Rugby Capitolina.
Lynch,26, was born in Rotherham, England but from an Irish family and was called up to the Ireland U19 squad for the 2005 World Cup as well as Ulster A and Belfast Harlequins before his career brought him to Italy via spells with Gloucester and West Harbour Pirates in Australia.
A tight-head prop Lynch was known as a ‘gentle giant’ among his colleagues and friends and highly regarded by all who came into contact with him.
Lynch had spells with S.S. Lazio Rugby and Amatori Alghero before signing with Capitolina and was seen as one of teh best in his position in Italian club rugby.
Capitolina have suspended all activities at the club for 24 hours as a mark of respect.
The Italian Rugby Federation expressed their deepest sympathies to his friends and family through a statement released on their website.
Police are still looking for the other vehicle involved in the accident which occurred around midnight on Sunday night on the Grande Raccordo Anulare ringroad in the Italian capital.